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February 10, 2012

Henrik Stenson


Q.  Henrik, right when you started what do you think of the round and what do you have to say about it?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah.  I mean like yesterday I had a lot of good shots and played pretty solid tee to green yesterday, but the putter was really cold, so I didn't get a score with me.  It was very good conditions, and the greens have been fantastic.
I mean I remember them being very good when I won in '07, but this is probably even better.  You know, I think the greens are probably the best they've ever been, so it's a great putting surface.  Can still be a bit tricky to get the grain and so on right because they're running very quickly, especially the downhill putts.
So I didn't get the putting going yesterday and then worked a little bit on that, but mainly I kind of built on the work with Pete on the range and got a little bit clearer, a little bit better on the range as well, and managed to take that onto the course and hit a lot of great shots today, and obviously capitalized with a few good putts as well.
You know, it was a long time ago I felt that good on the golf course and I'm kind of enjoying playing in a different way compared to when you feel like it's a struggle.
So you know, obviously we're not jumping up and down like crazy just yet, but it's a big step in the right direction, and I take a lot of positives out of this day of course, and we'll see what happens over the weekend.  If I can continue to build on this, and more important for me to long term, getting back into a place where I feel confident and obviously playing more to the potential that I can do because then I know if I put myself in position, I'll hopefully sneak one or two in there.

Q.  When was the last time you felt that good?
HENRIK STENSON:  I don't know, to be honest.  I mean it's still kind of ‑‑ you know, sometimes you're not feeling that confident and sometimes you're feeling overly confident, depending what type of shot and so on, but overall, I mean I was playing pretty good at the U. S. Open and the BMW in Munich last summer.  That was like a couple of weeks there where I was getting it together a whole lot better.
But other than that, I mean played pretty solid at the Open in '10 when I finished 3rd at St. Andrews, but still, I think my striking was much better today than then, and same thing.  So I would guess it's back almost to TPC when I had that strike and flight on the shots and felt that much in control of my game.
And there's still work to be done, because you're not going from having a whole lot of confidence to great confidence in one round.  But you know, it can turn around quickly in the game of golf, so if I keep on working on this for a few weeks, it might suddenly click big time.
So yeah, very happy with that.

Q.  You said, Henrik, when you spoke earlier that you did not have really high expectations from these three weeks, which is very understandable, but what does the 64 do for you for the next two days now?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I mean it obviously puts me in a good position coming into the weekend.  And I mean yeah, it's great to get a good score with you, but I think other times I could have shot 64, but you're not taking as much with you because of how it feels and so on, so that's the most important thing.
I would have been happy if I shot 67 or 68 playing the way I did today in those terms, but it's obviously a bonus to get a good score and a low number with me as well.  So I mean it's long‑term, when you've been going through a bit of a slump, you need to kind of look at it from the outside and try to figure out a few things to work onto try to long‑term move back to where it should be, and before here I felt I've been too much, like the last two seasons, I think, too much short term.  You're trying to figure out what to do this week and so on, and you're just running around in a circle really instead of figuring out what you need to do and kind of move towards those things.

Q.  Did you make a conscious decision to sort of start again?
HENRIK STENSON:  Yeah, I mean there's been a lot of details with the swing, and then, you know, if the big engine is not working, it's going to be hard to get ‑‑ you know, I felt like I've had to try and manipulate the shots a lot with my hands, and that's not a pleasant feeling.  It obviously makes your confidence go low and so on.
So yeah, we did some good work yesterday kind of building.  And there's been a lot of over these couple of weeks trying to get it together, and obviously I haven't necessarily played as poor as some of the scores are done, but you hit one or two bad shots and you end up in trouble and you're trying to get yourself out of there and all of a sudden you're making triples and quadruples and stuff like that and then obviously a bit of the motivation goes out of the window if you're 5, 6‑over par after nine holes.
So it's kind of ‑‑ yeah, it was a good day in that sense.

Q.  What was the injury?
HENRIK STENSON:  Meniscus on my left knee, medial meniscus that they operated.  It was just touch and go.  I was just about playable when I started in Abu Dhabi, but obviously I wanted to go back into action as quick as possible, and I feel like in the last week and a half it's kind of ‑‑ the knee has found its balance with walking 18 holes.  It doesn't really react on that anymore.  I'm sure if I were to play 27 or 36, it would kind of flare up a little bit, but it's kind of found its neutral playing 18 holes, because the first couple rounds it really kind of put pressure on it again and so on.
It's been more the walking rather than the hitting.  Hitting shots has been quite good from early stage.

Q.  Do you know what to attribute it to?
HENRIK STENSON:  Not sure.  It's either through poor wear and tear, poor swinging.  That kind of puts stress on it, because there wasn't like a big incident, but it was before Augusta last year.  I could hardly finish 27 holes with (indiscernible) and G. Mac.  We were out there playing practice rounds, and then it was bad at Vail.  But then it kind of settled down, so I didn't want to try and do anything middle of the season, so I kind of fought my way through it and waited for the end.  And yeah, done some good work with Cornell Driessen (ph), the physio guy is on my ass in the gym all the time now, so we're going to be stronger than ever at the age of 35, 36, so that'll be good.
(An add‑on with no question follows:)
HENRIK STENSON:  I've been living for seven, eight years in Dubai now.  And actually the last winter in Dubai we're going to move to America in the spring, so I'm trying my hardest to leaving in grand style.

Q.  All the best for the weekend.

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